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Monday, January 16, 2012

Boko Haram Reported in Lagdo, Cameroon

 The Nigerian Islamic sect, Boko Haram, which has been wrecking havoc in West African country, is reported to have infiltrated northern Cameroon.

The militants are said to have taken refuge in northern Cameroon as the Nigerian government has intensified its clampdown on them especially following their bombing of churches on Christmas Day that led to the death of over 50 persons.

  • Reports say members of the extremist group are more and more present in Lagdo, a cosmopolitan town in the North Region. 
  • Sources say they are easily identifiable by their bizarre dressing, long beads and red or black headscarves.
  • According to reports, for several months, Lagdo residents have testified that the strangers are combing surrounding villages and actively preaching anti-Western sermons, establishing units and proposing huge amounts of money to those willing to follow them.

In a bid to prevent cross-border activities by militants of the Islamic sect, the Nigerian government recently temporarily shut down its land borders with Cameroon, Chad and Niger.Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, in a televised national address recently, said the closure of the border was to control supposed cross-border activities by members of the sect. He also decreed a state of emergency in 15 local government areas in the Borno, Plateau, Niger and Yobe states.

“The temporary closure of our borders in the affected areas is only an interim measure designed to address the current security challenges and will be reviewed as soon as normalcy is restored”, he said.

It would be recalled that recently during a security coordination meeting, the Governor of the North region of Cameroon, Gambo Haman, enjoined security forces to be on alert, highlighting the incursion of Boko Haram militants into parts of the region.

“The Boko Haram being chased from Nigeria’s northeast, as well as thousands of runaway Chadian soldiers in irregular situation here must be closely monitored to avoid unwanted trouble throughout the national territory,” he cautioned.

Nonetheless, administrative official in the region are quoted as saying there is no need yet for panic

  • “We cannot begin to arrest suspects because the law does not allow for that. At the moment, they are not breaking the law,” one of them is quoted as saying.
  • Meanwhile, authorities in the region have reinforced surveillance and many Quran learning centres have been reportedly shut down, while Islam teachers are being closely watched by intelligence operatives.
  • It would be noted that last year some authorities within the Islamic community in Cameroon had warned that the increasing crackdown on the Boko Haram in Nigeria may cause them to run to Cameroon. 
  • Cameroon, some of them alleged, was no longer just a hideout for the militants but a field for enlisting converts.

Sources within the Moslem community say there are many indicators that militants of the sect are in Cameroon and are preaching their doctrines in some mosques.

  •  It would be recalled that not long ago the Divisional Officer for Limbe I sub-division,Tsanga Foe, closed a mosque in Limbe when there were allegations that members of Boko Haram had infiltrated it.
  • Other pointers that the militants are in Cameroon, sources say, are the distribution of CDs and fliers with the Boko Haram doctrine.
However, government seems to have heeding to the warning of Moslems in Cameroon as recently the Senior Divisional Officer for Wouri division, Bernard Okalia Bilai, convened Imams and Muslim community leaders in Douala and instructed them to come out with ways of repelling any establishment of the sect in Douala and other parts of Cameroon.

  • “We have been informed of attempts of Boko Haram infiltration. Their doctrine is anti-social as it condemns western education. It’s a doctrine that persuades young graduates to rip their degrees because it’s satanic. It’s a doctrine that condemns what today constitutes the values of our society and top authorities of the country don’t accept that such hateful dogma is established in our communities, and thus the necessity of this meeting. We must be vigilant,” he counselled.

It is also worth noting that when Chadian President, Idriss Deby, came visiting recently, terrorist fears was part of his discussion with President Paul Biya.

“We must remain very vigilant to the consequences of the upheavals that have occurred in the north of our continent. It is of no interest to anyone that a zone of instability emerges close to our northern borders. In that light, our solidarity is of utmost importance,” Biya told Deby.

On his part, Deby called for a cross-border Security Mixed Commission session to chart ways of dealing with increasing Boko Haram and AQMI (the Maghreb branch of al-Qaeda) threats.

The Rest @ Cameroon Online

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